Cary Booker, father of Newark mayor and New Jersey senatorial candidate Cory Booker, died today at the age of 76.
Here's what you need to know:
1. Cary Suffered From Parkinson's Disease
The Wall Street Journal reports that Cary Booker suffered from Parkinson's disease and fell seriously ill months ago. Parkinson's disease is an illness of the nervous system, with symptoms escalating from slight tremors to more serious physical impairments.
2. He Was Active in the Civil Rights Movement
Cary Booker is described as having been active in the civil rights movement as well as a breaker of barriers for African-Americans in business. Cory is quoted as saying that his parents raised him to be very conscious not to stereotype or judge people.
In the video above, Cory Booker, his mother, Carolyn, and his father talk about Cory's childhood and the family's perseverance.
3. He and His Wife Were the First Two Black Executives at IBM
Cory's mother and father became the first two black people hired as IBM executives, and in 1969 the family moved from Washington, D.C., to the affluent white suburban town of Harrington Park, New Jersey. Despite their jobs, though, the family always talked about their trouble buying a house in the town because of their race.
4. Cory Booker Canceled Campaign Events Today
Mayor Booker was scheduled to attend a rally this afternoon in Monmouth County with other members of the Democratic Party and Democratic gubernatorial candidate and state Senator Barbara Buono. This afternoon he canceled his appearance at the rally.
5. Booker's Senatorial Election is Wednesday
On Wednesday, October 16, New Jersey residents will choose between Booker and Steve Lonegan to fill the U.S. Senate vacated when Frank Lautenberg died on June 3. New Jersey Attorney General Jeff Chiesa has filled the seat temporarily, appointed by Governor Chris Christie ahead of the special election.